In 2006, the United Nations (UN) High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (HLCLEP) together with Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Asia (ESCR-Asia), and key government agencies jumpstarted the national process on generating social dialogue and discourse on the issue of poverty and exclusion. More specifically, the project revolved around four major themes: “Access to Justice and the Rule of Law, Property Rights, Labor Rights and Legal Mechanisms to Empower Informal Businesses”.
Series of national consultations with government offices, grassroots formations and civil society organizations were held to critique draft policy papers that covered the identified thematic issues.
Two years hence, a book entitled “The Way Forward: A Policy Resource Book on Legal Empowerment of the Poor in the Philippines” has been published and distributed to different stakeholders. Viewed as the first comprehensive local literature on legal empowerment of the poor, this book is one of the concrete outputs of the UN-initiated multi-stakeholder project.
Right now, ESCR-Asia is conducting activities to raise public consciousness on the legal empowerment paradigm. Part of these initiatives is the continuing discussion with various LEP stakeholders in the academe and the government sector on policy and programmatic recommendations that have been identified in the book.
In this vein, we would like to invite you to a public forum titled “Legal Empowerment of the Poor in the Philippines: Perspectives, Problems and Prospects“. This will be on February 28, Thursday, 1:00 – 5:00pm at the Ambion Room (Room 110), College of Law University of the Philippines Diliman. The activity is a joint undertaking of ESCR-Asia, the UP Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity and the UP Portia Sorority.
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